Pediatric spasm (CP) is a severe epileptic syndrome of infancy and accounts for 50% of all cases of epilepsy occurring in infants during the first year of life. Current treatments for this condition are limited, and most affected infants grow with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and other types of severe epilepsy. A groundbreaking study by Dr. John Swan, director of laboratories at the Gordon and Mary Kane Foundation for Pediatric Neurology, a researcher at the Ian and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Professor Baynell of the University of Texas at the University of Texas. -1 (IGF-1) and its downstream signaling are reduced in the brains of both IP patients and animal models. In addition, they found that the introduction of an IGF-1 analog to the animal model of IS successfully eliminated spasms and abnormal brain activity. This is an exciting study published in Annals of Neurologyhas the potential to change the treatment landscape of infants with infantile spasms.
Dr. Swan is a leading expert in epilepsy research, and a few years ago his team’s groundbreaking discoveries led to FDA-approved treatment for severe epilepsy among patients with tuberous sclerosis. He and his team had a long-standing interest and experience in studying baby crampsan epileptic disease that is diagnosed in approximately 2,500 infants in the United States each year.
Brain damage in early life reduces IGF-1 levels and disrupts the IGF-1 signaling pathway
“It has previously been reported that patients with IP with pre-existing brain abnormalities have low levels of IGF-1 in cerebrospinal fluid and on that basis study“We were interested in investigating whether IGF-1 levels in the brains of animals and patients with IP have changed,” Swan said.
For their research, the team used a well-established method to induce spontaneous epileptic seizures in rodents. This methodology, developed in 2008 at Swann Laboratory, involves chronic infusion of tetradotoxin (TTX) into the cerebral cortex of infant rats, causing damage to the infusoria site and leading to spasms that are virtually identical to those seen in patients with IP. .
“As expected after Fr. traumatic brain injury, we saw an increase in IGF-1 levels in non-neuronal support cells (aka glia) at the TTX ciliate site. However, we were most intrigued by the significant and widespread decrease in IGF-1 expression cortical neurons y areas of the brain near or far from the TTX injection site is a phenomenon that has never been reported before, ”Swan said.
The team then examined resected cortical tissues in patients with IP who had previously suffered a perinatal stroke and underwent surgery to control their intractable seizures. The results were remarkably similar to what they saw in animal IP.
“More importantly, we found that this decrease in IGF-1 levels had significant effects on IS models in animals because it weakened the overall activity of the IGF-1 molecular signaling pathways that regulate many important biological processes involved in early development. brain and neuronal function. “, Said Dr. Carlos Balester-Rasada, a postdoctoral fellow at Swann Laboratory and the first author of the study.
The IGF-1 analogue eliminates infantile spasms in animals
To determine whether an increase in IGF-1 levels in the cortex of animals with IS could alleviate spasms, the team used a smaller version of IGF-1 that can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than full-length hormone. The IGF-1 tripeptide they tested is a natural byproduct of IGF-1 breakdown that is commonly found in the brain. Moreover, it has previously been shown that this analogue successfully eliminates behavioral defects in animal models of other nervous system disorders such as Rhett syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome.
“Using several pieces of evidence, we first confirmed that this IGF-1 tripeptide is capable of activating the IGF-1 signaling cascade in mice,” Swan said. “Then we discovered – to our surprise – that the introduction of IGF-1 successfully eliminated the spasms and chaos characteristic of IS brain a pattern of activity called hypsorrhythmia, in most animals IS. We are excited because these findings enhance the exciting possibility that an IGF-1 analogue could be used to treat patients with IP in the future. ”
Carlos J. Ballester-Seedling et al., The role of insulin-like growth factor 1 in the generation of epileptic spasms, Annals of Neurology (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / ana.26383
Provided by Texas Children’s Hospital
Citation: A pioneering study identifies the root cause of childhood spasms and points to a new therapy (2022, May 20) received on May 20, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-underlying-infantile-spasms-therapy . html
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